HARTFORD, CT (WFSB) -- The state's COVID numbers continue to head in the right direction.

Doctors are still watching the data to see if there’s a Labor Day weekend bump, but generally speaking they say efforts in Connecticut are working, as the numbers show.

However, the Centers for Disease Control is also watching two new variants.

For the third time in the last week, the governor’s daily COVID update shows a drop in hospitalizations.

This time, by 37 patients over the we weekend.

“I’m not telling people to let their guard down, but we should be very pleased,” said Dr. Howard Forman, public health policy professor for the Yale School of Medicine.

At the same time, the CDC is taking notice of two new strains, the lambda and mu variants.

“We always expected another Greek letter coming down the road,” said Dr. Ulysses Wu, system director for Infectious Diseases at Hartford HealthCare.

When asked if the lambda or the mu variants become problems for Connecticut this fall, doctors say it’s not necessarily something to be concerned with just yet.

The CDC is still studying the new strains, including how infectious they are, and if either is resistant to the vaccine.

For now, doctors say our strategies are working. Besides vaccines, we also have better treatments for patients who end up in the hospital.

“We’ve made a lot of progress to this point, we’re at a very different place than we were a year ago,” Forman said.

Doctors say the vaccine remains the top priority.

In Connecticut, only one in four patients hospitalized with COVID is vaccinated.

Hartford HealthCare said even a majority of breakthrough cases are patients who come to the hospital for another reason, but test positive for COVID.

“They’re not requiring a significant amount of critical care or ICU care, and they do make good recovery,” said Dr. Ajay Kumar, chief clinical officer for Hartford HealthCare.

So if the vaccine is seen as the most effective tool, will Gov. Ned Lamont look to build off President Biden’s vaccine mandate with more requirements of his own?

“I understand that sometimes if you push too hard, people push back, sometimes irrationally even harder,” Lamont said.

A Pfizer official told CBS Sunday Morning that the company is close to seeking federal emergency approval for kids as young as five to use its vaccine.

Health experts say Connecticut has enough doses should the FDA approve that request.

Copyright 2021 WFSB (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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